Perlite (from the French. Perle - pearl) - this is a rock of volcanic origin, and more specifically, glass of volcanic origin.
It differs from other similar natural materials. ability to increase its volume from 4 to 20 times from the initial figure when heated to a certain temperature.
Puff process occurs in natural perlite due to the presence of 2-6% bound water.
If heated, perlite to 870 ° C, it will burst like popcorn, since the evaporation of bound water leads to the formation of millions of tiny bubbles in soft glazed particles.
At its core perlite - a special form of natural glass, belonging to the category of chemically inert and having a pH = 7.
Determination of agroperlite
Agroperlite - This is a rock of perlite, expanded using special production technology. The main activating force of heaving, as already mentioned, is bound water.
When heated its maximum values there is a rapid decrease in the viscosity of the glass with its subsequent transition to the pyroplastic state.
Allotment gaseous water is like an explosion, in which the glass begins to foam, forming an expanded highly viscous material. It turns out white rough balls of 2-2.5 mm. This is agroperlite, which is used for plants.
Characteristics of perlite
Perlite is widely used. for loosening the soil, improving its structure, moisture and air exchange.
Thanks to him, the air-water balance is established in the ground, it is not compacted or compacted, and the earthy clod in pots of plants always remains breathable.
Agroperlite provides plants excellent drainage, contributes to a more even distribution of the roots throughout the internal volume of the tank, produces aeration of the soil. Plants grow better and bloom more abundantly without experiencing a lack of oxygen (suffocation), as when growing in heavy soils.
During watering Perlite actively absorbs moisture, gaining 4 times more mass from its initial mass, in order to give it to the root systems of plants and perlite particles above it in a drop.
Particleswho have given up moisture to plants, consistently begin to take it from other granules filled with liquid. Even if the top layer of the substrate in the pot dries out, it will never form a solid film that prevents access of water or oxygen. Perlite draws water from the bottom, providing it with roots located on the surface.
The reflective properties of perlite
Perlite has excellent reflective properties, which is also extremely important for good plant development.
Being in the upper layer of the soil, it reflects the energy of ultraviolet rays on the opposite side of the leaves of the plant, thereby preventing the soil from overheating and protecting the roots from drying out, helps to maintain a constant stable temperature regime.
If moisture and heat in an earthen coma migrate quickly and freely, then these indicators are distributed evenly throughout the volume of the pot.
Heat-conducting properties any material, and soil, including, directly depend on the density. Energy moves the worse, the lower the density. Loose earth it slowly heats up and cools down as slowly, which ensures the safety of the root system from both overheating and freezing.
How to apply perlite for plants?
This is great stuff for vegetative propagation of plantswhose planting material is not rooted in water. The cuttings of some difficult-to-root flowers: begonias (tuberous), azaleas, and hydrangeas are infected by fungi and bacteria in the soil, and therefore do not germinate.
Besides, for root formation air exchange is necessary, because plants not only absorb, but also produce different products. Due to its special structure, perlite saves free places filled with moisture and air. This prevents rotting of the cuttings in the perlite, unlike soil or water.
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What can be used perlite?
Often perlite connect with vermiculite, sand, soil, sphagnum moss, peat, reducing the risk of seedling diseases.
Such a composition requires additional application of organic fertilizers and nutrient solutions to create beneficial microflora, since perlite itself is not a nutrient medium.
In perlite convenient soak seeds for germination, mulch when growing seedlings in small dishes so that the soil remains moist for longer.
Light sensitive seeds, germination of which is done without sprinkling with soil, you can also sprinkle with perlite.
It passes a certain part of the sun's rays, therefore, it is used as a substrate for plants with a superficial root system. Most often these are bromeliad and orchid epiphytes.
Perlite is used as a drainage for small flowerpots, as well as for mulching in order to prevent overheating of the soil. You can put perlite on the pallet and put on it moisture-loving plants.
Disadvantages and cautions
Need to know following:
- sometimes under the guise of perlite sell artificial materials that do not possess its properties,
- the white color of perlite sometimes makes it difficult to detect insect pests: mealy and root worm, fungal mosquito larvae,
- if you need a large amount of perlite, consider buying cheaper ones;
- Perlite has a neutral pH, therefore, when growing flowers in pure pearlite, it is possible that the soil will be oversaturated with alkali, and this will not give the plants normal access to nutrients and will eventually lead to oppression.
When working With this material you need to keep your eyes and mouth from dust. Small perlite particles can easily penetrate the airways. Wet it with water from a spray bottle, rinse through a fine sieve without immersion in water.
Moist perlite will not rise and will not pull all the moisture to itself. Wear a respirator. If perlite dust gets into your eyes, rinse them thoroughly.
What is perlite and its characteristicsPerlite is widespread in horticulture and gardening, so everyone should know what it is. In fact, perlite is one of the volcanic rocks, which in its structure and appearance has similarities with glass.
Each piece of perlite contains from 2 to 6% of bound water, which is why during the heating the perlite is able to increase in its size by 4 or even 20 times. Perlite, or agroperlite, as it is also called, can also explode. However, this is only possible when heated to 870 ° C.
The chemical composition of perlite is multicomponent:
- 65-75% - silicon dioxide,
- 10-16% - aluminum oxide,
- up to 5% - potassium oxide:
- up to 4% - sodium oxide,
- up to 3% - iron oxide,
- up to 1% - calcium oxide,
- 2-6% - water.
Perlite TypesThere are several types of perlite, which are used in different areas, but the most popular ones are expanded and lamellar.
Expanded perlite is used only in agriculture, whereas in the construction industry, the oil industry, metallurgy, medicine and the food industry it is the most common lamellar perlite. Let us consider them separately, which will make it possible to understand why each of the types of perlite is needed for plants and construction.
Expanded perlite - it is natural perlite, which is burned under high temperatures in special furnaces. Due to the impact on the rock temperature from 850 to 1250 ° C, it swells and unfolds as popcorn. Depending on the size of the expanded perlite, it can be grainy or resemble rubble.
Another name for expanded perlite is agroperlite, because it is used by farmers.
Expanded perlite has the following characteristics:
- Fire resistance (up to 900 ° С).
- Thermal insulation.
- The good absorbing ability (absorbs up to 400% of the weight).
- Biological resistance (the expanded perlite has no tendency to rotting, microorganisms, insects, rodents do not live in it).
- Ecological purity and sterility.
Very often, expanded perlite is used for seedlings, which require a lot of moisture and are very sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Nevertheless, floriculture remains the most sought-after area of use, since perlite for flowers is both a drainage system and a system for preventing the drying of topsoil in a pot. Perhaps similar due to the fact that perlite has the ability to accumulate moisture, and then give it to the soil.
Plate Perlite has a wider scope of use, and the question of why it is needed, first of all leads us to the construction industry. By adding perlite to the composition of building materials, it is possible to significantly increase their resistance to fire.
In addition, thanks to perlite building structures are becoming more durable, lightweight and less voluminous. Apply perlite in such industrial branches:
- Mining of oil and gas. Since perlite is a good adsorbent, it is used to absorb fuel oil and gasoline, which are then simply burned out of it.
- Housing and communal services. Perlite is used for water purification in the city water supply.
- Food industry. Perlite is used as a filter for cleaning sugar syrups and vegetable oils.
- Ecology. Thanks to perlite, active cleaning of reservoirs and lands that have suffered from industrial pollution is carried out. For this purpose, expanded perlite can also be used.
- Metallurgy. By adding perlite to the alloys, it turns out to achieve the pearlite structure of the steel.
- The medicine. Perlite is used as a filter for medical preparations.
How useful perlite for plants
The described characteristics give a hint for what they use perlite in agriculture. Due to its structure and ability to preserve its shape, it does not flatten and not be compacted, it is widely used to loosen the soil and enhance its qualities such as air and water permeability.
Perlite is also suitable for indoor plants, and how to apply it in this case is not difficult to guess - it is perlite that is poured to the bottom of the pots to perform the drainage function. When perlite is used in floriculture, there is a marked improvement in the growth rate of plants, as well as their flowering.
Agroperlite is added to the soil even before grass sowing on football fields, as well as when preparing golf courses. How to use agroperlite correctly, we will describe below.
Rules for the use of perlite for plants: how to properly use perlite
Even if you understand what perlite is, you can use it for gardening and indoor floriculture in different ways:
- How to drain. In this case, a layer of 3-5 cm of pure agroperlite is simply poured on the bottom of the pot.
- For rooting. Many gardeners are interested in the question of how to use perlite for rooting plants that show poor growth in ordinary soil. In this case, it is necessary to use pure perlite, watering it abundantly beforehand. Due to the absence of any microorganisms in the pearlite, the probability of rotting of the roots of young shoots will be excluded.
- As an additive to the soil mix. A similar mixture with perlite is recommended for flowers and plants that have a weak root system. For its preparation in equal parts perlite, chernozem and peat are mixed (can be replaced with humus).
- To increase the humidity of the air that tropical plants need. In this case, you need to place additional trays with wet perlite near the flower pots.
- For sowing very small seeds. Due to the mixing of seeds with agroperlite fines, it is possible to achieve their uniform distribution throughout the area or box.
- As mulch. If you close the surface of the perlite flower pot, it will prevent the topsoil from drying out and allow air to flow regularly to the flower root system.
- As a basis for fertilizers. To do this, it is enough to pour perlite with mineral fertilizer diluted in water and sprinkle the soil around the plants with it. Over time, perlite will begin to give moisture along with fertilizer to the soil.
Advantages and disadvantages of using perlite
Having dealt with the fact that such a perlite for plants, it is worthwhile to dwell in more detail on the advantages of this breed and the disadvantages that it also has. Let's start with the advantages:
- Perlite is a biologically pure substance that makes it possible to effectively combat diseases and pests of plants that overwinter in the soil.
- Perlite is indispensable in cases where the soil in the garden is too dense and plants with a weak root system cannot grow on it.
- Perlite is able to accumulate moisture and feed plants for a long time.
- Perlite is not caking, which means that even after a long period of time it is not capable of reducing the water and air permeability of the soil.
- Perlite provides good thermal insulation.
- Perlite is poorly distributed in the sale, and the cost of this breed is quite high. It is for this reason that he won love only with flower growers, while gardeners and gardeners try to resort to cheaper analogues of perlite.
- Perlite has a neutral pH. Therefore, with its intensive use, the level of soil acidity may increase, which is undesirable for most garden and indoor plants.
We hope that the question why perlite is added to the soil has become completely clear to you? and now you can fix all the flaws in the soil in your garden. However, keep in mind that the use of perlite in horticulture is not always rational and in some cases can have negative consequences.
Characteristics of perlite or agroperlite
This substance is actively used for loosening the soil, improving its quality characteristics, as well as for moisture and air exchange.
Perlite contributes to the establishment of air-water balance in the ground, it does not crumble and is not compacted, and the earthen room located in the pots of indoor plants is breathable.
What is agroperlite? it perlite rock, expanded using special production technology. It is used for plants.
Thanks to agroperlite pot flowers excellent drainage is provided, the roots are more evenly distributed over the internal volume of the pot, as well as aeration of the soil. Plants begin to grow much more actively and bloom more abundantly, receiving enough oxygen.
When watering this substance is able to actively absorb moisture, while its weight increases 4 times. Afterwards it will be in small portions. give it to the root system plants. Particles that give water to the flowers begin gradually to take it from other granules filled with liquid.
If in the pot the top layer of the substrate dries out suddenly, there will never be a solid film on it that will prevent access of oxygen or water. Perlite will draw the liquid from below to provide the roots on the surface.
The reflective property of perlite is very important for plants, contributing to their good development. Since it is in the upper soil layer, it contributes UV reflection on the reverse side of the leaves of flowers.
Due to this, the soil does not overheat, and the roots are well protected from drying out, while maintaining a stable temperature.
If heat and moisture in the earthen coma move freely and quickly, then these indicators begin to spread evenly throughout the entire volume of the tank.
The heat-conducting properties of the soil are directly dependent on the density. The smaller it is, the worse the movement of energy. The loose earth not only slowly heats up, but also gradually cools, which contributes to the preservation of the root system from overheating and freezing.